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Tuesday, 4 September 1956

Mr Swartz (DARLING DOWNS, QUEENSLAND) z asked the Minister for External Affairs, upon notice -

1.   Is he able to say whether, under the agricultural commodity agreement recently signed by the United States of America and Iran, it is the intention of the United States to use the purchase funds to assist development in Iran?

2.   What is the period of the agreement?

Mr Casey - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

The agreement, which was signed in Teheran on 20th February, 19S6, provides for the sale to Iran of about 12,100,000 dollars worth of United States agricultural commodities which will be paid for in Iranian currency. The agreement covers about 50,000 metric tons of wheat, valued at 3,900,000 dollars; 5,000 metric tons of butter oil, valued at 5,500,000 dollars; 3,000 metric tons of edible fats and oils, valued at 1,400,000 dollars; and about 500 metric tons of butter, valued at 500,000 dollars. Ocean transportation costing about 800,000 dollars is also included.

The expenditure of funds accruing to the United States as a result of the sale to Iran of these commodities is governed by United States Public Law 480, known as the " Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act of 1954 ".

The use to which the Iranian rials accruing to the United States as a consequence of sales made pursuant to the agreement has been agreed as follows: - (a) The Iranian rial equivalent of 3,700,000 dollars will be spent to help develop new markets for United States agricultural commodities, to finance international educational exchange activities in Iran, and to help pay United States obligations in Iran; (b) The Iranian rial equivalent of 5,900,000 dollars will be used to procure military equipment, materials, facilities and services for the common defence of Iran and the United States, subject to supplemental agreement between the two governments; (c) The Iranian equivalent of 2,500,000 dollars will be made available in the form of loans to the Government of Iran to promote the economic development of Iran, subject to supplemental agreement between the two countries. If the rials set aside for loans to Iran are not in fact advanced within three years from the date of the agreement, the Government of the United States may use the rials for any other purpose authorized by Public Law 480.

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